U.S. District Court Returns Nursing Home Case for Further Disposition Regarding Wrongful Death Related to COVID-19

A Chicago federal judge sent a lawsuit against the nursing home, Petersen Health Care, back to the state court after the defendant failed to persuade the judge that it had acted at the direction of the federal government to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Anita Martin, who was a resident of Illinois, sued the elder care company, Petersen Health Care, after the death of her mother, Marlene Hill. Hill lived in the Bloomington Rehabilitation & Healthcare Center, which was operated and run by Petersen Healthcare.

Hill unfortunately died on May 15, 2020 with “COVID-19” listed as a substantial contributing factor,”  the lawsuit stated.

Martin filed suit in McLean County Circuit Court; she alleged “gross negligence” and willful misconduct under the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act.

The complaint alleged that in the spring of 2020, the facility did not conduct widespread testing of staff and residents, provide PPE or provide healthcare services “consistent with guidelines issued by the Illinois Department of Public Health,” among other claims. The defendants removed the case to federal court, arguing that they were “acting at the direction of the federal government to prevent, treat, and contain COVID-19 and in its care and treatment of Marlene Hill.”

In the opinion issued by Judge McDade of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois, the judge rejected this argument. The judge stated that there is no indication of a special relationship with the federal government. Accordingly, the case was returned to the state on a remand on a motion made by the plaintiff’s motion to remand, back to the state court, moving the case to the McLean County Circuit Court. There was no ruling on the merits of the allegations of the complaint.

Anita Martin for Marlene Hill v. Petersen Health Operations, LLC, No. 20 C 1449.

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling nursing home abuse cases, nursing home bed sore lawsuits, nursing home death cases, and nursing home and rehabilitation cases for individuals, families and loved ones who have been harmed, injured or died as a result of the carelessness or negligence of a medical provider for more than 45 years in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas, including Flossmoor, Round Lake Beach, Stickney, University Park, Evanston, Schaumburg, Schiller Park, Rolling Meadows, Chicago (Back of the Yards, Pullman, Pilsen, Little Italy, Mount Greenwood, Roscoe Village, Beverly), New Lenox, Antioch, Barrington, Calumet City, Deerfield, Franklin Park, Melrose Park, Skokie and Downers Grove, Ill.

Robert D. Kreisman has been an active member of the Illinois and Missouri bars since 1976.

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